GEICO AMA EnduroCross Championship Series
Round 6: Energy Solutions Arena
Courtesy of GEICO
Photos by Drew Ruiz
SALT LAKE CITY, UT, OCT. 11, 2014
Factory Beta and Stillwell Performance-backed Cody Webb took a decisive win in Salt Lake City’s inaugural AMA GEICO EnduroCross event. The win was Webb’s second after taking the first-round victory in Las Vegas and puts him and his Beta two-stroke 300 into the points lead.
The race fans in attendance at the Energy Solutions Arena saw the night go almost perfectly for the GEICO-supported Webb. He took the holeshot and the win in his heat race and put down the fastest hot lap for gate pick during the night program (both earning him a bonus championship point and essentially tying the points going into the main event).
The final race wouldn’t be easy for Webb. Factory Husqvarna’s Mike Brown started strong, grabbing the Nexen Tire $500 Holeshot award in front of the pack. Brown began to pull away early, taking Webb, Factory Red Bull KTM’s Taddy Blazusiak, and Factory FMF KTM Offroad’s Taylor Robert along with him. Last week’s winner, and the co-points leader going into this race, Rockstar/ JCR Honda/ Lucas Oil’s Colton Haaker, went down and started the first full lap of racing in dead last.
By lap four, Webb was applying serious pressure to Brown, waiting for a mistake. His chance came quickly, when Brown made just a slight bobble in the Wood Pile. Webb attacked, and he went to the front by lap five. At the same time, Robert moved past Blazusiak, and all of the front-runners came upon lapped riders. The battle became serious for the third podium spot, as KTM teammates Blazusiak and Robert kept it close. Meanwhile, Haaker had charged all the way back to fifth place, where he would eventually finish.
Going into the second half of the race, Blazusiak passed Robert for third and began putting pressure on Brown for second. The top four had a clear track for a brief moment after moving through the entire field of lapped riders. Webb managed to pull out a 10-second lead going into the final laps, only to get stuck and fall over in the elevated rock turn. Luckily, he got moving again quickly and kept on the gas.
It seemed like the race for third was going to be where the action was, until Blazusiak turned up the pace and put serious pressure on Brown and moved past him on lap 12. Robert would follow and get the third podium spot on the final lap.
After an inadvertently flown white flag caused some final-lap confusion, the final checkered flag went to Webb in first, Blazusiak second and Robert third.
The GEICO AMA EnduroCross, fueled by Monster Energy and presented by Lucas Oil, championship standings stand with Webb in the lead at 143 points, Blazusiak settled in second three points back, with 140, followed by Haaker, who, after sharing the lead, fell 10 points back to 133.
Cody Webb was thrilled with his second win of the season.
“My race was awesome!” Webb declared. “I felt great, and I got into the lead and pulled a big gap. The white flag was thrown and then not thrown; I was the winner and then not done yet. So it did not make sense, but I got the win and the points lead, so I am happy.”
Blazusiak continues to take a long-term look at the season.
“I made mistakes, but then, towards the end of the race, I got that rhythm going again and started working on the guys,” Blazusiak said. “In the end, I am happy with second. It’s a good second, looking towards the championship.”
Robert felt 100 percent after taking third.
“The track was really nasty, but I got a decent start and passed Taddy for third but then got stuck trying to get around Brownie, and Taddy got me back, and eventually I got Brown to get on the podium,” Robert said. “I kind of had a slow start to the season due to the injury that I had setting me back, but now I am feeling 100 percent, so I am back up there, battling for the top spots.”
The Women’s class had the fans in Salt Lake City cheering as first-time winner Sandra Gomez from Spain took an exciting win after early leader and holeshot winner Rily Ellinger battled with Tarah Gieger. Ellinger would drop back from her early lead. Gomez put the pressure on Gieger, eventually making the pass stick.
With the top two settled in, the race action was all in the fight for third, with teammates Chantelle Bykerk and Rachel Gutish battling for that spot. It seemed Tarah Gieger’s EnduroCross luck had finally turned, as she made the final rock turn to the finish line; then she got stuck. It was a heartbreaking stall in an otherwise great race. Defending champion Bykerk would take second, with Gutish rounding out the top three.
Gomez enjoyed the win.
“I am happy to be here and need to say thanks for Husqvarna, Miki Keller and the family Tremaine for helping me,” Gomez said.
The evening also included a host of support classes for Amateur, Vet and Trials competitors.
In Open Amateur action, Ty Cullins took the win, with Trystan Hart in second and Dalton Dietz in third.
The Vet-class victory went to Kurt Nicoll. Jason Gitchel grabbed second, and third went to Rich Black.
The TrialsCross win went to a two-time winner on the evening: 15-year-old Ty Cullins took the win, with Shad Petersen grabbing second and 62-year-old Keith Adams taking the final podium spot in third.
The next round of the 2014 GEICO AMA EnduroCross Championship will take place inside the XFINITY Arena in Everett, Washington, on Saturday, October 18. Get your tickets now!
Energy Solutions Arena
Salt Lake City, Utah
Results: October 11, 2014 (Round 6)
EX MAIN: 1. Cody Webb (Bet); 2. Taddy Blazusiak (KTM); 3. Taylor Robert (KTM); 4. Mike Brown (Hsq); 5. Colton Haaker (Hon); 6. Max Gerston (Bet); 7. Ty Tremaine (KTM); 8. Nick Thompson (KTM); 9. Bobby Prochnau; 10. Geoff Aaron (KTM); 11. Noah Kepple (KTM); 12. Cory Graffunder (KTM); 13. Wallace Palmer (Chr).
WOMEN MAIN: 1. Sandra Gomez Cantero (Hsq); 2. Chantelle Bykerk (KTM); 3. Rachel Gutish (KTM); 4. Tarah Gieger (KTM); 5. Lexi Pechout (Shr); 6. Rily Ellinger (KTM); 7. Morgan Tanke (KTM); 8. Melissa Harten (GG); 9. Nicole Bradford (Kaw); 10. Veronica Whitesell (Bet); 11. Megan Blackburn (Kaw); 12. Brittney Gallegos (Kaw).
OPEN AM: 1. Ty Cullins; 2. Trystan Hart; 3. Dalton Dietz.
VET: 1. Kurt Nicoll; 2. Jason Gitchel; 3. Rich Black.
TRIALSCROSS: 1. Ty Cullins; 2. Shad Petersen; 3. Keith Adams.